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katrien

Living a slow, handmade life in an old italian farmhouse with 3 boys, a flock of well loved woollies and the man I love... β€’ Knitting patterns & more:

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Kate MacLean

There is something altogether magical about that moment when you realize your favourite flowers aren't the orchids you pamper with caring neglect; not the roses you mourn when May turns to June; or the poppies bobbing in a summer field that will forever remind you of a faraway week spent under the Tuscan sky with the man you still call the love of your life; but rather those tiny bunches of wild growing blooms you get from them... to keep in a vase or tuck in your hair... simple and honest, and without any reason except "they always make you smile"... β™‘ . . Ps. Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes yesterday! I wish I could send each and every one of you one of these tiny bunches of wild growing blooms... Especially if they happen to make you smile too! πŸ™πŸ’•πŸŒΎ . . . . . . #thehappynow #livethelittlethings #flashesofdelight #nothingisordinary #thatsummerfeeling #flowers #embracingtheseasons #liveauthentic #folkgreen #livemoremagic #folkgood #floral_perfection #seekthesimplicity #whpflowerpower

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It's my 38th birthday today and I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be spending it with my wild growing tribe!! Francesco will try to come home from work a bit earlier today, so we can drive down to the coast to look at the boats {we always make a big tour to pick our favourites}, and then we'll have dinner in a small indian restaurant by the harbour. But for now it's just me and these little boys, and so far we've enjoyed the loveliest morning around the house; eating summer peaches and leftover pancakes from my birthday breakfast, spying on the butterflies, cuddling the baby chicks in the coop, and gathering small bunches of wild marjory to dry... But off I go now... because we just started reading a new book about what goes on inside a bee hive, and they're all buzzzzzing with excitement for me to go on! πŸπŸŒΎπŸ’• . . . . . #morningslikethese #theartofslowliving #thedarlingmovement #nothingisordinary #littlestoriesofmylife #livemoremagic #liveauthentic #howyouhome #livethelittlethings #ourhandmadehome #thehappynow

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Little Gemma hasn't been feeling too happy since her fellow bottle baby & best friend Lilli died a week ago... and so we're giving her the Super Deluxe Treatment with extra cuddles and favourite snacks around the clock. It's a good thing we've got a whole team of volunteers lined up to cater to her every wish... And as I watch my boys take turns to feed her a bottle, and bring little bunches of soft grass and pimpinella back from our walks, or handfuls of the most tender rose hip leaves {because they are her favourite}, I feel happiness burn like a fire inside my heart that this is their childhood; that one day thìs will be their past, the foundations on which they will build the rest of their lives; and that these are the stories they'll wear inside their skin forever... because it might not always be "perfect"... and it might not always be easy either... But it's real and it's ours, and at the end of the day I often feel that it's pretty much everything I could ever have hoped for. And then some! . . . . . #ourwelllovedwoollies #tingola #tingolasheep #liveauthentic #slowlivingforlife #wildandfree #theartofslowliving #lifeofadventure #stayandwander #livemoremagic #embracingtheseasons #nothingisordinary #livethelittlethings #runwild

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One more from yesterday; down by the creek; eating peaches, wading through puddles, wearing giant leaf hats, spying on tadpoles, throwing sticks in the water for the dog and endless bellylaughs as she jumped after them, soaking us all with curtains of drops β€’ And then eventually... of course -how else could it be?- 6 boots filled with water and three little froglings; naked as the day they came to us; splashing each other with water, and a whole wardrobe drying on the rocks β€’ Golden moments that will be with us forever. Especially since Francesco has been away so much lately, sometimes from early in the morning until well after midnight; working hard now that the season is abundant... which was hard on us all at times; as our days were often rocked with waves of insecurity, and sudden bursts of last-minuteness... But we've made a few changes to our work schedules... and are reinstating a daily rhythm to make expectations and transitions flow gently throughout the days, ... and I can't wait for everything to fall back into place! . . . . . . #thatsummerfeeling #liveauthentic #slowliving #folkgood #lifeofadventure #stayandwander #folkvibe #livemoremagic #wildandfree #embracingtheseasons #downbythecreek #thelovesofmylife #nothingisordinary #livethelittlethings #folkgreen #dontforgetdads

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Yesterday was the first time in over a month that Francesco was home the whole afternoon, and that we didn't have any urgent chores or obligations... and so I had planned to take some time for myself to work on some very special custom dolls β€’ For days I had been looking forward to those quiet hours of sewing and felting and knitting; the balmy quiet of time set aside just for me; and the joy of being able to dedicate yourself entirely to doing what you love... And yet, when the time came to leave our late Sunday lunch table, I suddenly realised that all I really wanted was to be with them; to just bΓ¨ there with them; without goals, and without plans; to let time thicken to syrup in the summer heat, with the cicadas rubbing their wings in delight and the laughter of little boys echoing through the woods like pebbles skipping on water β€’ And so -instead of simply going ahead with all the other things we had planned- we listened to the deep call of our hearts, headed out, and hiked our way down to the creek, where we sat and watched as the afternoon unfolded around all the little joys that will eventually make you fall in love with summer ... 🌾✨ . . . . . #thatsummerfeeling #embracingtheseasons #folkcreative #folkgood #lifeofadventure #stayandwander #folkgreen #livemoremagic #liveauthentic #intothewoods #wildandfree #livethelittlethings #nothingisordinary

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Dear friends, thank you all so very much for your kind words of hope and support after my last post. I was truly moved to see how many of you reached out to send Lilli their most sincerely felt well wishes... Never was a lamb more loved... And so it is with a heavy heart that I come here today to tell you that Lilli didn't make it. We tried everything we could, but in the end she just slipped away... 🌾 Oh my sweet Lilli... how many hearts you have touched in your six months here with us... and how many tears have been shed since you left us. We all struggle to let you go... and we all feel like there's a little piece of our heart missing. But no matter what will happen, and no matter where the future will take us... you will always be here with us on our windy hill, roaming the meadows around the house, calling out to us as soon as one of us steps outside the house, and skipping down the road with the boys... So thank you my sweet friend... thank you so so very much for all that we have learned from taking care of you, and all that we are learning now from having to let you go. Love, K.

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Sweet Lilli β€’ Those of you who have been following our story for a while, will probably remember the day our flock of well loved woollies finally arrived home; Twelve beautiful ewes that were now really ours, and amongst them also a tiny lamb; the scrawniest little peep who had been rejected by her mother and needed to be bottle fed. The boys named her Lilli, and in the months that followed, their tiny lamb grew into a gentle, trusting friend that would follow them around everywhere they went... And now we might loose her β€’ I had noticed that lately she wasn't her usual, happy self... yet I somehow supposed she was suffering from the heat. Until a few days ago I realized she was really becoming all too slow... too listless... And then last night, when I called out to her she didn't come. She had become too weak to walk. So I picked her up and carried her in my arms, all the way back to the barn... The boys were in bed and so I sat with her, while I cried in her woolly fur; pleading with her -over and over, and over again- not to leave us... β€’ This morning she was seen by the veterinary who gave her a bunch of shots... and now we wait. Hoping for the best... while preparing the children {and ourselves} for the possibility that she might not make it... And for as much as I tell them that nature really is cruel and unpredictable sometimes... and that it's all part of running a farm... and above all, that there are a million things worse than losing a pet {and that there's people out there living all of them}; ... my heart just breaks at the thought of losing our sweet mascotte.

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Almost all the summer blooms to infuse the oil for our Super Special Rescue Balm {Saint- John's wort, yarrow, calendula, rose petals, and broadleaf plantain}, and the {very} humble beginnings of a little Someone's new earflap hat! ... It's my first actual project with our very own sheep/alpaca blend and my fingers are literally itching to get ahead with this project! So... fingers crossed for a few morsels of quiet time over the weekend... and temperatures somewhere below the thirties! 🌞🌾✨ . . PS. I'm writing down the pattern for this sweet hat as I go, so hopefully I'll be able to share it with you in time for your winter knitting!! πŸ™Š . . . . . #knittinginspiration #knittersofinstagram #nevernotknitting #embracingtheseasons #thatsummerfeeling #Onmytabletoday #livemoremagic #liveauthentic #herbalmedicine #thewindyworkshopknits #slowknitting #newsfromthewindyworkshop #FeatherYarn #farmtoknittingneedle #breedspecificyarn

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Just a great big {goat-} smile to brighten your day! β€’ A while ago we went to visit our friends at their beautiful farm on the other side of the valley. They also homeschool their children, and so from time to time we like to meet up to exchange thoughts and ideas, while the children play together in their fairy tale playground... And as I peaked into one of the barn doors, I found myself face to face with this happy girl! β€’ Ever since that day, this photo has been around on my phone, and every time I bump in to it, it makes me break out into the biggest smile. And so I decided to share it here today. Because some days, there is nothing sweeter than to share a smile. πŸ’• . . . . . . #animalportraits #livethelittlethings #nothingisordinary #theartofslowliving #flashesofdelight #thehappynow #folkgreen #livemoremagic #goat #monalisasmile 🐐

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After an unusually wet and chilly spring {which really came as a blessing after last year's draught}, Summer is now finally here, and all that is growing around us is quickly making up for the slow start of the season β€’ The peas and tomatoes in the garden; the eggplants and the bellpeppers... and all the named {and to us yet unnamed} wildflowers in the meadow... And so this week the boys and I will be gathering and preparing all the herbs and flowers and leaves for the Super Special Rescue Salve we use to cure and sooth pretty much everything from Bumps and Bruises to Bites, Blisters & Burns. But first, we're off for a walk to gather some of that wild growing peppermint we spotted the other day! β€’ Oh my these Slow, Sweet Summer Days... they're always so much fun! . . . . . . #gardeningwithkids #organicgardening #embracingtheseasons #theartofslowliving #wildandfreechildren #livingislearning #morningslikethese # #livemoremagic #liveauthentic #folkgreen #lifeofadventure #wildlingshoes

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Just a quick hello from us to wish you all a blessed and happy solstice today; whether you cosy up for winter, or are about to dive into summer! May the new season bring you lots of joy and the beautiful energy of new beginnings.... β™‘ β€’ The boys asked if we could invite some friends to celebrate a little midsummer festival tonight {something they had read about in one of their favourite books by Ulf Stark}, but Francesco will be home late... And so instead we will meet up with our friends next week, and celebrate today with a few much anticipated summer crafts {we're making a new summer sun for the kitchen window, and will be felting woollie wildflowers to decorate the wooden bead garland in our reading nook}, and then - once the heat lets up a bit - we'll have and another "Wildflower Picnic" somewhere close to home... Nothing fancy... just some delicious summer fruit, extra large servings of italian 'gelato', chilled lemon balm tea... and lots of stories to tell. But then... that's all one could ever need to turn a quiet summer day into a Midsummer celebration, right? . . . . . #embracingtheseasons #thatsummerfeeling #summertime #summersolstice #folkgreen #folkscenery #liveauthentic #livethelittlethings #nothingisordinary #theartofslowliving #flashesofdelight #thehappynow #livemoremagic

28

These past few weeks I've had the privilege to send a few very special custom dolls out to loving arms around the globe, and then somehow- between brief moments stolen from our daily comings and goings, and the quiet hours of evenings by myself - I also managed to prepare a small set of dolls that will be available in the shop tonight at 9 pm {Paris Time} β€’ You can have a look at my stories if you'd like a little sneak peek... or hop on over to the shop where all the dolls are ready for preview! β€’ Oh my... I'll sure miss having these sweet faces around when they'll fly off to their new families! Each doll takes me at least a few days to make... and so I always feel that in the end they've become part of our little world here on the hill; sculpted from {and stuffed with} the wool of our sweet woollies; every single stitch placed within the rhythm of our family's story; every face and every smile a testament of a moment of quiet during which my busy hands find a way to express the love that flows from my heart... Oh yes. I will surely miss these sweet little friends. But then the thought of the little boys and the little girls who'll love them when I let them go, just makes me want to grab a ball of freshly carded wool, and get started on a few more! πŸ’• . . . . . #makersgonnamake #handmadewithlove #newsfromthewindyworkshop #waldorfdolls #waldorfpuppe #steinerpopje #theartofslowliving #waldorfinspired #littlestoriesofmylife #knittersofinstagram #knittinginspiration

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